Lemonade is a 2016 visual album project by Beyoncé, and her sixth overall solo album.
Inspired by turbulent times in her marriage to Jay-Z, Lemonade continues many of the themes discussed on its predecessor Beyoncé — marriage, motherhood, racial inequality, and so forth, featuring guest spots by Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar.
Led by the surprise release of "Formation" (and its subsequent performance at Super Bowl 50, which angered many people because of its political statement), Lemonade premiered on April 23, 2016 with a special 60-minute presentation airing on HBO, soon being made available for streaming and purchase afterward.
Lemonade was a widespread critical success, and is the most acclaimed studio album of Beyoncé's career. It was named the best album of 2016 by music critics, and was named one of the greatest album of the 2010s. In 2020, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at #32 in their 500 greatest albums of all time list.
- "Pray You Catch Me" (3:16)
- "Hold Up" (3:41)
- "Don't Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)" (3:54)
- "Sorry" (3:53)
- "6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)" (4:20)
- "Daddy Lessons" (4:48)
- "Love Drought" (3:57)
- "Sandcastles" (3:03)
- "Forward (feat. James Blake)" (1:19)
- "Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)" (4:50)
- "All Night" (5:22)
- "Formation" (3:26)
Lemonade provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adult Fear: Having your husband cheat on you and how to deal with the aftermath of it, as well as the fear of it happening again, is among the main themes of the album.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
I don't wanna lose my pride, but I'ma fuck me up a bitch.
- In the one hour visual special that came with Lemonade's release, Beyonce is seen singing "Hold Up" whilst smiling and skipping through the streets in a beautiful yellow gown until she takes a bat and proceeds to bust up everything in sight—cars, shop windows, fire hydrants, even the cameraman! All with a smile on her face. And that's only before she gets into the monster truck... uh-oh.
- The segment for "Don't Hurt Yourself" in the Lemonade special shows Beyonce getting frighteningly angry as she sings about getting cheated on and warning her lover not to do it againnote , coupled with a montage of Beyonce angrily confronting the camera, Beyonce in a white wedding dress glaring with a wall of fire behind her, and even throwing her wedding ring at the camera!
- And that's after she creepily recited a spoken word piece about what she's going to do to the woman Jay-Z cheated with.
- "Sorry" marked the beginning of her "Apathy" chapter in the Lemonade special and the song lyrics show Beyonce just really didn't give a damn, going as far as to tell her cheating lover to "suck on [her] balls" because "[she's] had enough".
- The Cameo: Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Serena Williams, and Quvenzhané Wallis are among the most familiar that show up in the film.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She worries about coming off as one in "Hold Up," when she suspects her boyfriend is cheating, but ultimately decides she doesn't care.
- Darker and Edgier: Lemonade is probably Beyonce's darkest project ever.
- "Dear John" Letter: Referenced in SorryLeft a note in the hallway
By the time you read it Ill be far away
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely at her baseball bat in the "Hold Up" video, it's stamped with "Hot Sauce" on it, giving a whole new meaning to the "hot sauce in my bag" line in "Formation".
- Genre Roulette: Lemonade can mostly be classified under the umbrellas of R&B and Hip-Hop, but features tracks that dabble in other genres, like Country ("Daddy Lessons"), Alternative Rock ("Don't Hurt Yourself"), Reggae ("Hold Up", "All Night"), and Soul ("Pray You Catch Me", "Sandcastles", "Forward").
- Pimped-Out Dress: Well, it's Beyonce, so of course the outfits are stunning. The antebellum dress made of African print cloth is a particular standout.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Pray You Catch Me", "Sandcastles", and "Forward" are noticeably softer than some of the songs surrounding them.
- "Hold Up" samples "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, and features interpolations of "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and "Turn My Swag On" by Soulja Boy.
- "Don't Hurt Yourself" samples "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin.
- "6 Inch" samples "Walk On By" by written by Isaac Hayes and features an interpolation of "My Girls" by Animal Collective.
- "Freedom" samples "Let Me Try" by performed by Kaleidoscope, "Collection Speech/Unidentified Lining Hymn" by by Reverend R.C. Crenshaw, and "Stewball" by Prisoner "22" at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
- "All Night" samples "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" by OutKast featuring Sleepy Brown.
- Lemonade itself samples "The Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson in one of the interstitial scenes.
- "Formation" samples, of all things, a "twang" sound from the Hanna-Barbera sound effect's library.
- Scenery Porn: Soooooo much. Many segments are shot in a gorgeous Southern mansion, others outdoors in the Louisiana countryside.
- Southern Gothic: Lots of the film's imagery reflects this aesthetic.
- Spoken Word in Music: The film features snippets of Beyonce reciting poetry written by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire.
- Symbolic Serene Submersion: The prologue to the "Hold Up" video takes place entirely underwater. Shots of Beyonce floating in her flooded apartment while delivering the opening monologue in voiceover represent her overwhelming emotions in response to being cheated on. The video proper begins with her pushing open the front doors, releasing the water, and walking out confidently.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Or rather, Then Let Me Be Crazy, from this line in "Hold Up":What's worse — looking jealous or crazy?
Jealous or crazy?
Or, like, bein' walked all over lately,
walked all over lately...
I'd rather be crazy!
- The Unapologetic: Sorry (I aint sorry)
- Wham Line: He better call Becky with the good hair
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Kendrick Lamar drops a verse on "Freedom," but the album is otherwise devoid of rap breaks.
- Woman Scorned: Many —if not all— of the tracks portray Beyonce in this light, to varying degrees. "Hold Up" and "Don't Hurt Yourself" play it up the most.